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4 Reasons Why Scleral Lenses Are a Big Deal

happy girl wearing contact lenses 640Scleral contact lenses have been called “life-changing” and “transformative” by patients who wear them.

What makes these contact lenses so revolutionary?

What Are Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are contacts that vault over the entire cornea and rest on the white part of the eye (sclera). Their diameter is much larger than standard lenses, which adds to their comfort and compatibility with hard-to-fit eyes.

Here’s why they’re gaining popularity in the contact lens world and why patients and doctors are calling sclerals a big deal.

1. Sclerals are Ideal for People with Corneal Irregularities or Dry Eyes

There was a time when patients with corneal irregularities or severe dry eye syndrome weren’t able to wear contact lenses at all, due to the discomfort associated with direct corneal contact. Nowadays, patients with keratoconus, other corneal aberrations or dry eye can successfully wear scleral contact lenses and enjoy comfortable and crisp vision.

Scleral lenses are also great for patients with corneal dystrophy, high astigmatism, Sjorgren’s syndrome, corneal trauma and corneal ectasia, or who have undergone cataract surgery.

2. They’re Completely Custom-Made

Each pair of scleral contact lenses is custom-designed to gently and securely rest on your unique eyes. The fitting process for scleral lenses starts with corneal topography, where the optometrist creates a digital map of your eye’s surface. This information is then used to customize your perfectly fitted pair of sclerals.

3. They Offer Optimal Visual Clarity and Comfort

The liquid reservoir that sits between the lens and the eye helps enhance the visual optics of the lens. Moreover, scleral lenses are made of very high-grade materials and don’t place any pressure on the cornea, delivering ultimate all-day comfort. Many patients have reported that they comfortably wear sclerals for up to 14 hours a day, which is longer than the wear time for standard soft contact lenses.

4. They Promote Eye Healing

Scleral contact lenses protect the eye by surrounding it with an oxygen-permeable, liquid-filled chamber. This hydrating environment gives the eye the moisture and oxygen it needs to stay healthy and ward off outside irritants.

This can also explain why scleral lenses promote healing of the eye’s surface, whether after a corneal transplant or when recovering from a chemical burn or other eye injury.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a corneal condition that prevents you from wearing standard lenses, consider scleral lenses. To schedule an appointment or to learn more, call The Eye Studio in Portland today!

The Eye Studio serves patients from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, Hillsboro and throughout Oregon.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Tina Tsai

Q: #1: How long do a pair of scleral lenses last?

  • A: Scleral lenses can last 1-2 years before requiring replacement. Your optometrist will provide you with instructions on how to wear and care for your lenses to keep them feeling fresh and clean, day in day out.

Q: #2: Are scleral lenses expensive?

  • A: Just like any other customized product, scleral lenses tend to be more expensive than standard soft contact lenses. Although they have a higher price point, most patients who wear them will tell you that their comfort, visual clarity and stability make them worth the cost.


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Living With Keratoconus | Kenneth’s Story

Kenneth’s Story 640From the time Kenneth was 11 years old, he wore glasses to correct his quickly deteriorating vision. He was always forced to sit at the front of the classroom and felt embarrassed by it. This time in his life marked the beginning of seemingly endless visits to various eye doctors to try and figure out what was causing his vision problems.

Four years later, at the age of 15, Kenneth was diagnosed with keratoconus, a progressive eye disease that affects the shape and condition of the cornea. Kenneth was referred by his ophthalmologist to an optometrist who [specializess] in treating keratoconus.

The optometrist explained that keratoconus is a condition that causes the cornea to thin and bulge out in a cone-like shape, leading to visual impairment. The early stages of this progressive eye disease usually cause mild to moderate vision problems that can be corrected with eyeglasses. But as the cornea’s shape continues to distort, glasses are no longer suitable and rigid contact lenses must be prescribed.

The optometrist prescribed rigid gas permeable contact lenses, which significantly improved Kenneth’s vision. But Kenneth sometimes found his contacts hard to manage, and even uncomfortable at times. People would tell him to just ‘switch back to glasses’ and ‘stop wearing the lenses if they give you so much grief.’

That wasn’t possible. He simply couldn’t see without the contacts.

Thankfully, before Kenneth’s condition progressed to the point where cornea surgery was required, new technology gave him fresh hope.

At the age of 20, Kenneth was fitted for scleral contact lenses for the first time. The day of the fitting was an emotional one for him and his family, as he was truly able to see the world around him in detail—and with great comfort.

Kenneth walked out of the optometrist’s practice, looked around, and saw leaves on the trees for the first time in 5 years. Prior to this, his perception of trees were brown stumps with green shrubbery—but never leaves.

He noticed that the cars driving past him on the street looked astonishingly clean. Nothing seemed faded anymore. Colors were vivid, lines were sharp.

The detail and clarity of each object were genuinely overwhelming for him. His mom, who also suffers from keratoconus, was overcome with emotion as she watched her son visually experience his surroundings in a whole new way.

From that day forward, Kenneth’s life changed drastically. His scleral contact lenses enabled him to function normally and achieve his goals. Wearing his sclerals allows him to work, exercise, socialize and be his authentic self.

Kenneth confesses that when he doesn’t wear his sclerals, his entire personality changes. He becomes timid, quiet and apprehensive.

Having keratoconus will no longer hinder Kenneth from living his best life, and it doesn’t have to hinder you or an affected loved one.

To a person with corneal disease, scleral lenses can be truly life-changing. If you or a loved one has keratoconus or other corneal irregularities, contact The Eye Studio today.

The Eye Studio serves patients from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, and Hillsboro, all throughout Oregon.

Q&A

Q: #1: How do scleral lenses work?

  • A: Scleral contact lenses are hard lenses that have a much larger diameter than standard soft contact lenses. They vault over the entire cornea and rest on the sclera (the white of the eye) so that no part of the lens is touching the cornea itself. The lens holds a reservoir of soothing and nourishing fluid between the eye and the lens, providing the best in visual clarity and comfort.

Q: #2: What other conditions do scleral lenses help with?

  • A: Any patient with irregular corneas can benefit from scleral lenses. They’re also suitable for patients with severe dry eye syndrome, as the fluid reservoir helps maintain comfort and ocular hydration. They’re also great for patients with very high refractive errors (high myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism). Speak to your eye doctor if you think scleral lenses may be right for you.


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A Guide to Scleral Lenses

Vision And Medicine Concept. Accessories For Contact Lenses: Con

Many people can’t wear standard contact lenses. This is especially true of patients with severe dry eye syndrome, keratoconus, irregular astigmatism, among other conditions.

That’s why eye doctors often prescribe scleral lenses to such patients. These specialized rigid, gas permeable contact lenses have a very wide diameter and extend over the entire corneal surface, making them effective and comfortable for people with irregular corneas.

At first, some patients may find scleral lenses to be difficult to insert and remove. However, after some practice, you’ll find it easy to care for your sclerals!

Safety and Hygiene for Scleral Lenses

Handling scleral lenses incorrectly can increase your risk of eye infection. Additional risk factors include improper lens cleaning, poor hygiene, and smoking. Therefore, it’s important to follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to handle your lenses hygienically.

Before handling, inserting, or removing scleral lenses, make sure to:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with non-oily soap or antibacterial-based pump soap and dry them with a clean lint-free towel or paper towel.
  • Sit at a desk or table and place a lint-free cloth down to insert and remove lenses. Avoid bathrooms, as they often contain more germs than other rooms in the home.
  • Inspect your lenses for chips or cracks and protein deposits on the lens surface. If you notice any defects or are unsure whether your lenses are damaged, don’t wear them until your eye doctor has inspected them.

How to Insert Scleral Lenses

  1. Remove your scleral lenses from their storage case and rinse with them with saline. If you’re using a hydrogen peroxide solution, wait at least 6 hours from when the lenses were placed into the storage case for the solution to neutralize. Always rinse with saline before placing the lens on the eye.
  2. Either place the scleral lens between your middle, forefinger, and thumb — known as the tripod method — or secure the lens to a suction tool (plunger) supplied by your optometrist.
  3. Fill half the bowl of the lens with preservative-free saline solution to prevent air bubbles from forming between your eye and the lens. Insert the lens directly onto the center of your eye in a facedown position.
  4. Dry and wipe your lens case with a tissue and leave the case lid off to air dry.

How to Remove Scleral Lenses

There are two methods to remove scleral contact lenses: with your fingers, or with the aid of a plunger. First, to detach your scleral lenses from your eye, press firmly with your finger on your bottom eyelid just below the edge of the lens, then push upwards.

Method 1 – Manual Removal

  1. Try Scleral Lenses Thumbnail.jpg

    Insert a drop of preservative-free saline solution or artificial tears to loosen the lens.

  2. Look down onto a flat surface (a mirror or towel can be placed there).
  3. Use your middle finger to open your eyelid wider than the lens diameter.
  4. Apply pressure to the middle of the lid — as close to the lashes as you can — and push down on the eyelid to move your eyelid under the lens and lever it off the eye.

Method 2 – Suction Tool

  1. While looking at a mirror in front of you, hold your bottom lid open. Wet the tip of the suction tool to allow for better adhesion and attach it to the bottom of the lens.
  2. Using the suction tool, remove the lens by tilting the lens up and out of the eye.

How To Care for Your Scleral Lenses

The number one rule in contact lens care is always to follow the professional advice of your optometrist. If you need any clarification, always contact their office first.

Never ever use tap water in any area of lens care, whether to rinse or fill your lens case. Tap water contains a multitude of dangerous microorganisms, including acanthamoeba, that can cause a severe, painful, and sight-threatening infection. Be sure that your hands are fully dry after using a lint-free towel prior to handling your lenses.

Remove Before Going to Sleep

Most people can comfortably wear scleral contact lenses for up to 12-14 hours at a time. Approximately an hour before going to sleep is the best time to remove the lenses. If your lenses fog up in the middle of the day, it’s best to remove them and try various methods to clear up the fogginess before reinserting.

Use a Peroxide Cleaner

You can sterilize your scleral lenses by immersing them in 3% hydrogen peroxide. Over a period of 6 hours, the catalyst in the case transforms the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This gives your lenses a deep clean and removes the need to rub them, thus decreasing the risk of accidental breakage. Do not use the lenses until they have been immersed for 6 hours, as the un-neutralized peroxide will painfully sting your eyes. Leave the lens case to dry when not in use.

Use a Filling Solution That Is Preservative-Free

When inserting scleral lenses, use unpreserved sterile saline solution by filling the bowl of the lens upon insertion. Don’t use tap water or a preserved solution as these can lead to an eye infection.

Remove Debris Using Multi-Purpose Lens Solution

Once you’ve thoroughly washed and dried your hands, remove your scleral lenses and rub them for 2 minutes in a contact lens case filled with saline solution. This effectively removes microorganisms and deposits, lowering your risk of infection. While scleral lenses are strong, too much force or an incorrect technique can cause them to break.

After rubbing your lenses, thoroughly rinse them using the solution for 5-10 seconds. Then place them in a case filled with fresh solution and leave them to disinfect for at least 4 hours.

Routinely Clean and Replace Your Lens Case

Regularly clean and replace your lens case to prevent infection due to bacterial contamination.

It is recommended to clean the storage case on a daily basis and to replace it monthly or as advised by your eye doctor.

Your optometrist will recommend when to get a new pair of scleral lenses, and will advise you when to schedule follow-up appointments. Failure to show up for scheduled appointments can compromise the lenses’ efficacy.

At The Eye Studio, we can recommend the best wearing schedule for your contact lenses to ensure the highest level of comfort and visual acuity. Always follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional. Call to schedule an eye exam and a scleral lens fitting today.

The Eye Studio serves patients from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, and Hillsboro, all throughout Oregon.

Q&A

 

Q: Why do I need to use preservative-free solutions to fill the lens?

  • A: Long-term exposure to preservatives can cause corneal toxicity or sensitivity that results in irritation and redness.

Q: How long do my application and removal plungers last?

  • A: Plungers should be replaced every 3 months, or sooner if necessary.


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Tips For Wearing Scleral Lenses

Pretty Cheerful Woman Gesturing With Two Fingers Near Eyes. Youn

Scleral lenses are ideal for patients with corneal irregularities, dry eyes, and hard-to-fit eyes. Their uniquely large circumference offers the best in visual comfort and clarity. But wearing and caring for your scleral lenses can take some getting used to.

Below are our top 5 tips for anyone who wears scleral lenses. If you have questions about scleral lenses or any other optometric matter, The Eye Studio in Portland is here for you.

1. Lens Hygiene is Top Priority

Keeping your scleral lenses hygienic and free of buildup is key in ensuring the clearest possible vision. When you remove them from your eyes, rub them for several seconds with lens cleaner to remove surface debris and bacteria. Then, rinse them on both sides with saline solution before storing them.

Another hygiene tip: Before handling your lenses, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water, and to rinse and dry them with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Good hygiene will significantly minimize possible complications and keep your eyes feeling fresh.

2. Manage Your Dry Eye

Many patients with dry eye syndrome (DES) choose to wear scleral lenses for their hydrating and soothing properties. While sclerals can offer substantial relief from their dry eye symptoms, patients shouldn’t forget to seek treatment for their DES.

That’s because scleral lenses help manage dry eye, but don’t actually treat it. So, it’s best to follow up with your eye doctor about any eye drops, medications, or at-home remedies to support healthy tears.

3. Use a Cotton Swab For Cleaning

Patients with long fingernails can find it challenging to thoroughly clean their scleral lenses. Rubbing the inside bowl of the lens with a cotton swab and cleaning solution can effectively remove the buildup from the lens. Then, rinse off the cleaning solution with saline to remove the cleaning solution and any lint from the cotton swab.

4. Try Different Insertion Tools

Is your current insertion method not working as smoothly as you’d like? No worries! Ask your eye doctor about different tools you can use, such as the O-ring or applicator ring.

But please only insert your lens with tools that your eye doctor recommends!

5. Follow Up With Your Eye Doctor

Because scleral lenses are customized, they often require a few visits with your optometrist to optimize their fit. Even after the fitting process is complete, follow-ups will help ensure that your lenses are still in good condition.

If your scleral lenses are giving you any trouble at all, we can help. To schedule your scleral lens consultation, call us today!

The Eye Studio serves patients in Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, Hillsboro, and throughout Portland.

Frequently Asked Questions with Our Scleral Lenses Expert in Portland, Oregon:

Q: How do scleral lenses work?

  • A: Scleral lenses rest and vault over the entire sclera (white of the eye), encasing a hydrating reservoir in between the lens and the cornea (front surface of the eye). This allows people with irregular corneas to wear contact lenses, since the lens isn’t in direct contact with the cornea itself.

Q: How long do scleral lenses last?

  • A: Scleral lenses generally last 1-2 years, depending on how well you care for them and how your tear film reacts with them. Even so, check-ups every 6 months are recommended to ensure they still fit well and provide clear vision.


References

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3 Benefits of Wearing Scleral Lenses

Benefits of Scleral Lenses 640Scleral contact lenses are gas permeable lenses that rest on the “white” part of the eye (the sclera), forming a dome over the cornea. This dome creates a new optical surface over the irregular or damaged cornea, providing clearer and more comfortable vision.

Here are 3 reasons why scleral lenses are a great contact lens option:

1-They work when nothing else will

When a patient has an irregularly shaped cornea, whether it’s because of an eye condition, complications following eye surgery, or other reasons, it can lead to vision problems that cannot be corrected with standard contact lenses or glasses. This is where scleral lenses can help.

Sclerals are especially suited for patients with keratoconus, astigmatism, severe dry eye syndrome, and other conditions that make it uncomfortable—even impossible—to wear standard contact lenses.

2- Scleral lenses provide relief for those who suffer from dry eye syndrome

Unlike regular soft contact lenses, which sit on the cornea, scleral lenses vault over the cornea and sit on the sclera. This prevents irritation and allows the eye to heal. Moreover, the space between the lens and the cornea contains a liquid reservoir of artificial tears that continually hydrates your eyes.

3- Sclerals are long-lasting

Created from top-quality, long-lasting materials, these rigid gas permeable contacts usually last 1-3 years. Even though the initial cost of scleral lenses is higher than standard contact lenses, you’ll benefit from greater value for your money.

Scleral lenses are customized for every patient’s eyes. To learn more about scleral lenses contact The Eye Studio today.

The Eye Studio serves patients from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, and Hillsboro, all throughout Oregon.

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Call Us 503-219-0023

Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Astigmatism?

brunette girl smiling 640Many people choose to wear contact lenses to correct their vision due to the freedom and convenience contacts provide. But for those with astigmatism, wearing contact lenses isn’t always simple.

At The Eye Studio in Portland we offer specialized contact lenses that provide clear and comfortable vision, even if you have moderate to severe astigmatism.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. The abnormal cornea causes light to disperse unevenly into the eye, leading to blurred or distorted vision. Other symptoms of astigmatism can include headaches, eye strain, and difficulties with reading or using digital devices.

Astigmatism may be congenital, meaning that you are born with the condition, or you can develop it later in life. People with astigmatism usually also have myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), two of the most common refractive errors.

Which Contact Lenses Can You Wear With Astigmatism?

Although traditional soft contact lenses may not be suitable for patients with astigmatism, there are two other types of contact lenses specifically designed for those with unusually shaped corneas.

Toric Contact Lenses

Toric lenses are a popular choice for people with mild astigmatism. Patients with higher levels of astigmatism, however, generally require a higher level of expertise.

Toric lenses are designed to provide clear vision and a comfortable fit. There are two main issues with toric lenses. First, the range of corrective powers is limited, so patients with moderate to high levels of astigmatism may not be able to wear toric contacts. Second, these lenses need to rotate on the cornea to find the correct position and orientation, leading these lenses to occasionally provide unstable or varying clarity of vision.

Toric lenses are available in either soft disposable or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens materials.

Scleral Contact Lenses

Unlike standard lenses, scleral lenses vault over the cornea and sit on the sclera (the white of the eye). These lenses do not have the issues faced by toric lenses as they are individually designed for each patient and do not sit on the cornea. By vaulting over the cornea, scleral lenses create a liquid reservoir between your cornea and the lens. This dome provides a continually hydrating environment that protects the cornea, promotes healing, and increases comfort.

Scleral lenses have become a staple therapeutic tool in the visual rehabilitation of patients with astigmatism and other corneal irregularities. They also can provide better visual acuity than standard soft lenses thanks to their rigid surface and personalized fit. Scleral lenses have proven to be an excellent solution for patients with astigmatism that appreciate sharp and comfortable vision.

How We Can Help

At The Eye Studio, we can provide you with customized toric or scleral contact lenses that are tailor-made for patients with astigmatism or other corneal irregularities, as well as hard-to-fit eyes. By taking precise and detailed measurements of your cornea, we will be able to ensure a secure fit and crisp, clear vision. To learn more information or to schedule your consultation, call us today.

The Eye Studio serves patients from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, Hillsboro, and throughout Oregon.

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Scleral Lenses Can Prevent Dry Eye, Tiredness, and Discomfort

protect your eyes 640x350It’s not uncommon for certain contact lens wearers to suffer from eyes that feel dry, red, itchy, uncomfortable, and at times very painful. Eye drops and artificial tears can deliver relief, but they are no more than a temporary solution.

One of the best contact lenses for optimal comfort and hydration are scleral lenses, as they simultaneously provide vision correction, protect the eyes, and lubricate them.

What are Scleral Lenses?

These rigid gas permeable lenses have an extra-wide diameter that vaults over your whole cornea. In contrast to other contact lenses, they rest on the white part of your eyes (sclera) and not the cornea. As a result, scleral lenses consistently rank at the top of the charts when it comes to providing sharp visual acuity, comfort, and healthy eyes.

Common Contact Lens Complaints

Below we’ll explore the most common contact lens complaints we hear at our practice and ways scleral lenses can prevent them.

End-of-day tiredness and dry eyes

After just 6 to 8 hours of contact lens wear during the day, many contact lens wearers experience tired and dry eyes. Though standard hydrogel contact lenses allow a high concentration of oxygen to permeate the eye, some people need an alternative.

End-of-day eye discomfort can be resolved with scleral lenses, as these custom-designed lenses have a liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea that provides a continuous moist environment that soothes tired, dry eyes.

Not only does this cushion of moisture lead to a comfortable wearing experience; it also promotes healthy eyes throughout the day, allowing you to wear these lenses for 12 to 14 hours! It is for this reason that many of our patients turn to scleral lenses for unparalleled comfort and all-day ocular hydration.

Chronic dry eye syndrome

Certain dry eye patients may experience painful, red, and swollen eyes. For them, traditional soft contact lenses can be unbearable because they sit right on the irritated cornea. Moreover, these contact lenses tend to act as sponges, soaking up the moisture from the surface of the eye.

If you struggle with dry eye syndrome and have been looking for a more effective treatment method beyond eyedrops and artificial tears, ask your The Eye Studio doctor about scleral lenses.

Feeling the contact lens in the eye

Feeling your contact lenses in your eyes often indicates a poor fitting. Everyone’s eyes are different and when it comes to contact lenses, no size fits all. Furthermore, if lenses are insufficiently curved, they can be dislodged with every blink. This isn’t just uncomfortable — the wrong size lens can damage your cornea.

Because scleral lenses have a large diameter and are custom-made to your eye shape and size, it is almost impossible for scleral lenses to dislodge during normal wear. And since these lenses do not make contact with the surface of your cornea, there is a decreased risk of corneal abrasions.

Operating in dusty environments

Dry, dusty or dirty conditions can cause contact lenses to not only dry out, but can also lead irritants to attach themselves to the lenses. Scleral lenses offer comfort, even in dusty or dirty environments. This is because the lenses cover a large area of the eye, and since the outer layer of the lens protects the eye surface, dust and tiny particles can’t reach it. While not a complete barrier, scleral lenses can provide you with more relief and all-day comfort than traditional lenses.

If you’ve tried traditional contact lenses and have experienced any of the above, or if you’re simply seeking a more comfortable alternative to wear all day, it’s worth considering scleral lenses.

Contact a knowledgeable and experienced eye care professional, Dr. Tina Tsai, who will patiently assess and explain your condition to you. Dr. Tina Tsai will perform a specialized scleral lens custom-fitting to ensure that you receive the best fit for optimal visual clarity and comfort.

Call the The Eye Studio today to schedule your consultation. We help patients from the Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, and Hillsboro, in the Oregon area enjoy great vision and comfort with scleral lenses.

 

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This Contact Lens Can Actually Treat Dry Eye Syndrome!

something in my eyeWearing traditional contact lenses can be a convenient method of correcting vision — unless you are suffering from dry eye. Dry eye symptoms, such as red, itchy eyes, or a feeling of having something in your eye, tend to worsen when wearing traditional contact lenses.

There is, however, one type of lens that isn’t only comfortable to wear, but also improves vision and reduces symptoms — it’s called a scleral lens. This lens differs from a conventional contact lens in several ways, most notably in size. Scleral lenses are large custom-fit contact lenses that offer multiple benefits for people with dry eyes and a variety of other eye conditions.

If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms, speak with Dr. Tina Tsai to see whether wearing scleral lenses is the best course of action for your condition.

Dry Eye Symptoms

First things first, what does dry eye mean? If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms for some time, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome:

  • Red eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucus in or around your eyes
  • A feeling of dust or sand in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue

Why Do the Symptoms Occur?

Your eyes are usually covered with a thin film of tears to keep them lubricated and protected. If the lubrication is inadequate, that is, if the quality or quantity of the tears is out of balance, one of the above symptoms may occur.

Dry eye can have many causes, such as certain medical conditions, medications, environmental influences, hormones, and extensive exposure to blue light from digital devices. Long-time contact lens usage may also impact tear quality. Dry eye mostly affects women, particularly upon reaching menopause.

What Are Scleral Lenses?

This gas permeable contact lens is considerably larger than any other contact lens, and due to its size, a scleral lens rests on the sclera—the white part of the eye— without touching the cornea.

As mentioned earlier, when you have dry eye, the cornea is more sensitive than usual, rendering it uncomfortable when a traditional contact lens comes into contact with it. Scleral lenses, on the other hand, cause no friction to the cornea as they do not directly touch it, but rather vault right over it.

Scleral lenses were initially developed for patients who could not wear traditional contact lenses, such as those with high astigmatism, keratoconus, and other corneal irregularities. Over the years, study after study has shown that scleral lenses can improve and even treat dry eye syndrome.

How Does a Scleral Lens Treat Dry Eye?

Standard soft contact lenses absorb moisture from the eye, whereas scleral lenses provide moisture. Furthermore, when inserting a scleral lens into your eye, you first apply a saline solution, which fills the gap between the cornea and the lens. This provides moisture for the irritated eye and promotes healing.

By ensuring consistent hydration of the eye and shielding the cornea from external irritants, scleral lenses provide the eye with the conditions needed to heal. As you can see, scleral lenses can play a therapeutic role in the healing process of dry eye syndrome.

What You Need to Know About Wearing Scleral Lenses With Dry Eye

Most people find that scleral lenses are very comfortable to wear. They do not move around on the eye, and dust particles are less likely to get caught underneath. Caring for, inserting and removing a larger lens, however, involves some practice and calls for a little more caution.

One of the few side effects of dry eye is a higher production of mucus, which can accumulate underneath the lens. As a result, you may have to clean your lenses more frequently to ensure clear vision.

Eye Drops and Scleral Lenses

Artificial tears are a common treatment for dry eye, and you can use them in combination with scleral lenses. However, make sure to consult Dr. Tina Tsai regarding which drops to use for your specific case.

To further reduce symptoms and improve the quality of your tears, consider using lid scrubs regularly. Also, warm compresses can provide relief and contribute to improving the tear film.

Where Can You Get Scleral Lenses?

Scleral lenses are custom-made for each patient. At The Eye Studio, we have made scleral lens fitting one of our primary objectives, which is why our practice is equipped with the latest technology and contact lens modalities. This has enabled us to achieve positive results for our dry eye patients.

This Contact Lens Can Actually Treat Dry Eye Syndrome from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Contact Dr. Tina Tsai at The Eye Studio for a personal consultation and find out whether scleral lenses are a suitable option for your dry eye syndrome.

We serve dry eye patients from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, Hillsboro, and throughout Oregon.

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Call Us 503-219-0023

What Is the Shape of a Healthy Eye and How Does It Affect Vision?

eyes eye care 640x350The human eye is a biological piece of functional art, capable of producing colorful moving three-dimensional images with high precision. At the same time, one can marvel at the aesthetic beauty of the human eye and its shape.

The Shape of a Healthy Eye

In a healthy and perfectly shaped eye, light passes through the cornea and crystalline lens, and is accurately focused onto the retina, located at the back of the gel-filled eyeball. This process enables an image to be passed onto the optic nerve and then the visual cortex of the brain. Accurate focus and convergence depend on the proper shape of each part of the eye. However, eyeballs can be either shortened (hyperopia) or elongated (myopia).

Unhealthy Eye Shapes That Impact Vision

The Myopic Eye

In an elongated myopic eyeball, the distance between the lens and retina is too long, leading the image to come into focus before reaching the retina. As a result, the photosensitive cells of the retina pick up a blurry image.

The Hyperopic Eye

In hyperopia or farsightedness, the opposite is the case. The eyeball is too short, as is the distance that light travels from lens to retina. Therefore, the image comes into focus behind the retina, causing distant objects to appear clear, whereas close ones do not come into proper focus.

The Cornea

While the crystalline lens is flexible and auto-adjusts its shape for proper focus, the cornea is static. A healthy cornea maintains its smooth dome shape. However, if the cornea is weak, the structure of the cornea cannot hold this round shape, causing the cornea to bulge outward and downward like a cone. Perfect curvature of the cornea ensures the correct bending of incoming light onto the lens, whereas inadequate curvature results in a refractive error.

An uneven or irregularly shaped cornea also distorts the image that forms at the retina. Common corneal irregularities include astigmatism and keratoconus.

Keratocoonus Labelled

Scleral Lenses for a Smooth Eye Shape

Scleral lenses are large contact lenses that rest on the sclera — the white part of the eye. The lenses span over the cornea, making them ideal for a deformed cornea as they even out the irregularity to create a perfectly shaped eye.

Contact Dr. Tina Tsai at The Eye Studio to learn more about how your eye shape affects your vision. We’ll be happy to discuss the different correction methods available that offer you sharp, comfortable and clear vision all day, every day.

We receive clients from Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, Hillsboro, and throughout Oregon.

 

Resources:

https://www.lasikmd.com/blog/eye-shapes-affect-vision

https://www.everydayhealth.com/vision-center/the-healthy-eye/how-the-eye-works.aspx

https://www.nvisioncenters.com/eye-shapes/

https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/refractive-errors

Ever Wonder How People See Following a Corneal Transplant?

Dry Eye Senior Woman 640×350For patients with a damaged cornea, corneal transplant surgery (also called keratoplasty) can help restore clear vision by replacing the original cornea with healthy corneal tissue from an organ donor.

Corneal damage can be caused by:

  • Corneal scarring from infection or injury
  • Keratoconus – an eye disease that causes the cornea to bulge
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Eye diseases, such as Fuch’s dystrophy
  • Clouding or swelling of the cornea
  • Complications following eye surgery

During surgery, either a portion of the cornea or the entire cornea is replaced with healthy tissue. Depending on the type of surgery, stitches may be needed. In all cases, however, a patch will be required to shield the recovering eye for 1-4 days after the procedure. Your doctor will instruct you on which medications to take and how to care for your eye in the days and weeks following the surgery.

If you require a corneal transplant or have already undergone the procedure, speak with Dr. Tina Tsai or one of the knowledgeable staff members at The Eye Studio about how to safely regain clear vision after surgery.

How Is Vision Impacted After a Corneal Transplant?

Full recovery from the surgery may take up to a year, and sometimes longer. In the first few months after the procedure, your vision may even get worse before it gets better. As the eye adjusts to the new cornea, you may experience blurred or unstable vision, which will improve with time.

There is also a high chance of developing post-surgery refractive error— such as myopia or astigmatism — as the new cornea may have a different curvature than your original cornea. These refractive errors are generally corrected with either glasses, rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, or scleral lenses. In many cases, scleral lenses are the better choice for post-keratoplasty, and for several reasons (explained below).

Why Are Scleral Lenses the Better Choice After Corneal Transplants?

Scleral lenses have a larger diameter than standard soft or gas-permeable lenses, making them more comfortable to wear while providing clear and stable vision. If there is a high variance in corneal curvature or even a slight elevation at the site of the transplant, RGP lenses may decenter, causing irritation and inflammation. Scleral contact lenses prevent this problem as they don’t sit directly on the cornea, but rather vault over it.

Furthermore, scleral lenses support the eye’s natural healing process due to the reservoir of fluid that sits between the cornea and the back of the lens. This keeps the eye in a constant state of hydration for optimal recovery.

Ever Wonder How People See Following a Corneal Transplant? from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

Call The Eye Studio to find out more about scleral lenses and to determine whether they are right for you.

Dr. Tina Tsai serves patients in Portland, Beaverton, Vancouver, Hillsboro, and throughout Oregon.

REFERENCES

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cornea-transplant.htm

https://www.reviewofcontactlenses.com/article/postkeratoplasty-consider-sclerals

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cornea-transplant-surgery#1

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